Carlyle considers $2bn defence deal

The private equity firm with deep defence expertise is in talks to purchase Booz Allen Hamilton’s government consulting business.

The Carlyle Group is the latest private equity firm to consider acquiring the government consulting arm of global strategy and technology consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton.

The Washington DC-based buyout firm, which has a long track record in the defence sector, is in discussions about a possible sale, an industry source told PEO. Should it come to fruition, the deal is likely to carry a $2 billion (€1.4 billion) price tag, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

The Booz Allen division on the table has annual contracts worth more than $2 billion with government agencies including the Pentagon, the Department of Homeland Security and intelligence services, according to the Journal.

A Carlyle spokesman declined comment.

Carlyle already has some affiliation with the consulting firm, which employs more than 19,000 people on six continents. One of Carlyle’s associates in Spain, Javier Aguila, is a Booz Allen alumnus, as are two executives at its portfolio companies: Reid Jackson, the president of Dulles, Virginia-based Compusearch Software Systems, and Giorgio Anania, board member at Mainz, Germany-based Cube Optics.

The private equity firm also has extensive defence industry experience, and has held numerous portfolio companies that worked with the US government, such as EG&G Technical Services, which provided management, engineering, scientific, logistics and technical services to government agencies. Other prior defence holdings include Sippican, a designer and manufacturer of systems and products for anti-ship missile defence, anti-submarine warfare training and specialized meteorological and oceanographic data gathering and processing.

Carlyle has previously been a target of anti-war protestors for its links to the defence industry, though the bulk of its current aerospace and defence portfolio is weighted more toward aviation than defence. Its current defence investments include Combined Systems, which makes products for military and law enforcement markets including branded less-lethal munitions and anti-riot products; and DHS Technologies, which designs tactical shelters and integrated support trailers for the military, state and local governments and commercial purposes.